As of July 1, 2023, OAC and Calisphere are running Matomo to track and process web usage statistics. Our immediate next priority is to develop Matomo usage statistics reports to share with OAC and Calisphere contributors, with the goal of making them easily available to you on a “self-serve” basis. Stay tuned for an update about our approach to producing shareable reports. Please see our Matomo implementation FAQ page for additional details.

So you've contributed collections to Calisphere. Now's the fun part: seeing their usage! Let's dive into stats.

Please note that these instructions do slightly differ from those for the OAC.

Introduction to Usage Stats

We use Google Analytics for tracking usage of objects on Calisphere. Google Analytics is a flexible stats program that allows us to divide stats up by contributor -- in other words, you can get stats about the usage of your collections, and only your collections. Data is collected on each institution’s digital objects, collection landing pages, and institution landing pages.

Please note that when we say "usage," we mean the interactions users are having with your content on the Calisphere website. To get a full picture of usage of your collections, you may also want to apply stats to your own local system.

Once you set up your stats (see below), you'll be able to sort your usage data by collection. (Note: UC contributors with sub-institutions/units will additionally be able to sort data by those units.)

How to configure usage stats for Calisphere from California Digital Library on Vimeo.

Set Up Your Calisphere Usage Stats via Google Analytics

It takes a little bit of set-up on your part to get your stats going. You will need to complete 3 steps. If Google Analytics is new to you, or if you run into any road blocks, please don't hesitate to contact us.

1. Create a New Google Analytics "Property" for Calisphere Stats

A new property in Google Analytics correlates to a new report. To learn how to set up a new property, read the instructions here. 

The URL for your new property should be (Note: if this is your first time using Google Analytics, start by creating a new account; you will automatically create a new property in the process). We recommend naming this property something like "[institution name] Calisphere stats."

Note for UC contributors: there are a few different ways to handle gathering stats for multiple units within a given campus. We'd recommend contacting us before you get started, so we can confer with you and others at your campus on the best way to structure the stats report.

2. Provide CDL with your Tracker ID

A Google Analytics tracker ID will be generated when you create a new property. The tracker ID will be a 9-character string beginning with the letters "UA."

Please copy this tracker ID and send it to us. We will apply it to all pages associated with your institution on Calisphere.

3. Create a "Custom Dimension"

This last step is very important for allowing you to filter your Calisphere stats by collection. You will need to create something called a "custom dimension" in your property. Google Analytics has laid this out nicely in this help documentation. Follow the eight steps under "Set up custom dimensions." When you get to Step 5, name the dimension "collections."

Note for UC contributors: if you have applied the tracker ID to multiple institutions, go through the steps for creating custom dimensions again. This time, name your dimension "institutions." It is important that you create your dimensions in this order: dimension 1 should be collections, and dimension 2 should be institutions. This matches the code we have engineered on our side and will ensure your data comes through.

View Your Calisphere Usage Stats on your Google Analytics Dashboard

Once your stats are set up, you can go to your Google Analytics Calisphere report to get your data. Generally speaking, we will not be providing support in navigating and interpreting your usage reports, as Google Analytics already provides extensive help documentation. That said, we are happy to consult to the extent we can, especially if you need more information about Calisphere in order to understand your stats.

Sort by Collection

To sort by collection, you’ll be making use of the "custom dimension" you created in the set-up process. (Read more about dimensions here). You can make use of your custom dimension anytime you’re given the option in your report, but a particularly handy one is in the "site content" view:

  • Using the left-side navigation, click on Behavior to expand your report options
  • Click on Site Content
  • Click on All Pages
  • In the table in the bottom half of the report, find the button called "Secondary Dimension"
  • Start typing "collections" and click on it when it appears

This will show you all your pages on Calisphere, along with the collection(s) with which they are associated. You can then do fancy things like sort your pages by collection (click on the "collections" column), or create an advanced filter using a collection name to see all your stats for a given collection (click on the "advanced" link next to the magnifying glass on the right side).


All of the stats described above track interactions users are having with your content on the Calisphere website. As of August 2016, we also track "clickthroughs" from the Calisphere site to your local system (e.g. when users click on "view source image" from an item page). This data will not come through to your Google Analytics report, but we can provide it for you on request. Please contact us.


As of February 2019, contributors using the Shared DAMS (Nuxeo) are able to view "download" request statistics from the Calisphere site. Follow these steps to view this information:

  • From your Google Analytics Calisphere report, select "Behavior > Events > Top Events" from your reports options on the left.
  • Once you're on the "Top Events" page, specify "Event Action" as your primary dimension.
  • On the resulting list of event actions, "Downloads" indicates the number of actual downloads; "Open Download Modal" indicates the number of times the download prompt window has been opened.

DPLA Usage Stats

DPLA maintains an Analytics Dashboard, providing key usage and extent measures for individual Calisphere contributors.  Please contact us if you'd like a report of your DPLA usage statistics.

Extent Stats (Object Counts)

Extent statistics (the number of objects you've published in Calisphere) are available at